Over 300 people in Iowa have signed a petition to ban or label books containing homosexual and trans content in a public library.
Residents in Orange City brought their views to the attention of Rev Sacha Walicord, who said that LGBTI books are ‘pushing an agenda’ polarized to the religious community.
The backlash has taken place in one of the state’s most Republican counties after a statement of concern was filed to the Orange City Public Library.
The statement of concern focused on books on its shelves that featured LGBTQ content, Two Boys Kissing and Tangerine Dress.
The former is a young adult fiction book, while the second, a children’s book, follows a boy who likes to wear dresses.
Reverend says: ‘We will stand up and fight’
According to USA Today, the Reverend held a meeting Orange City Public Library Board of Trustees on Tuesday (20 February) and said: ‘We will stand up and we will fight’.
The meeting follows a flier petition posted through residents’ doors titled ‘Homosexual/Transgender promoting materials in Orange City Library! Some aimed at Pre-K kids, using YOUR tax dollars,’ on Saturday (17 February)
Meanwhile, many residents and patrons defended the inclusion of LGBTI books in libraries.
They argue that patrons could choose to ignore the books, considering the range of other subjects on offer.
‘No one is putting a gun to anyone’s head,’ said Sue Kroesche, former director of Orange City Public Library.
The petition has had more than 50 signed petitions and 283 online.
Sioux County Conservatives (SCC), a political group formed to mobilize conservatives, took responsibility for leading the petition.
Iowa library ‘serves the needs of a diverse community’
‘(The materials) are targeting pre-K children to promote a behaviour that is harmful to human beings. It is clear there is an agenda there,’ said SCC spokesperson Jacob Hall.
Orange City Library director Amanda Vazquez told the paper that freedom of choice was essential.
‘As a public library, we try to serve the needs of a diverse community,’ she said.
Reportedly, the library contains 168 books containing LGBTI material or references out of a collection 64,000 books.